2016 Favourites: Makeup

Happy 2017 everyone! I can’t believe how fast time has flown, but another year has gone by and with it, more favourites. Products in this post are going to look awfully repetitive but what can I say? These are the things I used and loved throughout 2016 and in the end, it was really easy to pick them out.

For base, I’m still loving my L’Oreal Infallible although I did play around quite a bit more this year with various foundation-type products. The CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream for Oily Skin turned out to be quite the find especially around the summer and lazy days when I was looking for easy makeup. I wear the shade light/medium and I have to say that now that winter has rolled around it’s gotten a bit too dark for me, but I’ll be finishing up what is left of this tube when the warmer weather comes back. This is a great everyday base that really does control oil and doesn’t look too matte. Also, as an added bonus, this is the only foundation I’ve ever found that I can apply with my fingers without it looking too streaky or patchy. Another product I’m quickly running out of is the Revlon Colorstay Concealer in Light Medium. This is actually my second tube but I seem to be scraping the sides again – goes to show how much I’ve been using and loving this guy!

The really beat-up, unrecognizable tube is a product I have used without fail every single time I wore makeup in 2016 – the L’Oreal Brow Plumper in the shade Medium Deep. I still haven’t really gotten on board with using anything else in my brows – tinted brow gel is just the easiest and this tube seems to be lasting me absolutely forever. ELF really seems to have stolen my heart where eyeshadow is concerned this year. I’ve used the Back to Basics Smudge Pot and/or the Mad for Matte Palette everyday – they’re just so easy to use, blendable and effortless, which is really what I’m looking for in any eyeshadow, especially on workdays. Do I even have to mention how affordable they are? Lastly, for eyes, the FairyDrops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara has been another everyday staple for me – definitely not the cheapest, or the easiest to get a hold of, but a solid, reliable mascara that gets the job done and holds a curl, without flaking or smudging all over the place.

One of the integral parts of my beauty routine is my favourite nail polish top coat – the Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Top Coat. I’ve gone through bottles and bottles of this stuff and it’s just the best. It dries almost instantly and makes your nails feel like gels. The most magical part of this is that if in the course of painting your nails, one gets smudged, brushing this top coat on top will smooth everything out. It’s basically magic in a bottle.

My last favourite has been an absolute obsession and my most worn lip product this year – the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. I’m a little slow to the party, but these truly are the best. I’m on the fence when it comes to the liquid lipstick craze but these really do what they say on the tube and last all day with no transfer and minimal drying. There are colours to satisfy everyone and the price point is amazing.

All in all it looks like 2016 was a great year for drugstore makeup for me, which is good news, especially as I will be continually be looking for ways to cut down on the $ I spend on makeup. What were your favourite makeup products of 2016?


Easy Peasy Gold Eyes and Berry Lips

I am all about convenience and quickness when it comes to makeup. Monday to Friday, when I head to work, I somehow manage to cram in a full face of makeup in 10 minutes, but on the weekends when I’m popping out to see friends or run errands, I like to take that all down a notch, let my skin breathe a bit, and just generally not spend that much time on my face.

One of the biggest trends that always seems to surface around this time of year is the gold eye and berry lip, which is both a great festive look and fun way switch up your products with the colder weather. I personally love the trend and have written entire posts dedicated to just gold eyes or berry lips. But as I said, on the weekends, I prefer to keep things simple, so after dabbing on a bit of concealer, I like to use just a quick swipe of my favourite gold cream shadow, the extremely affordable and long-wearing ELF Smudge Pot in Back to Basics, which is just great and I’ve been obsessed with recently. It’s the perfect gold for this time of year as it’s slightly darker and gives a real warmth to the lids without being too yellow. For the lips, proper dark berry colours can sometimes be hard to work with because it needs to be so precise. But for an easier application and similar effect, I love the Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum. Berry Smoothie works as well, as I’ve just discovered that Sugar Plum was discontinued!

Lastly, it seems that I’ve grown very used to putting some kind of tinted brow gel on everyday before leaving the house to frame my face. The latest one I’ve been trying is the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Espresso, which I like but I find a tad warm. A couple swipes of black mascara and then you’re pretty much ready to rock the gold/berry look.

What is your favourite winter makeup look and what products do you use for it?

The High-Low Eye

My go-to eye looks have changed a lot recently, with me straying away from the gold obsession I had all through 2015 to switch over to a moderately different champagne. All through January and this far into February I’ve been using a new combination non-stop for my daily eye, and I thought it was about time to document it here.

It’s a great mix of high-end and drugstore makeup, as I’ve really been loving the ELF Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette. What I’ve been doing on the regular is applying the third colour from the top roughly into my crease area, and then taking a tiny bit of the fifth and sixth colours to define it a bit more precisely. Lastly, I take the same brush and swirl it generously into my Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Shadow in No. 003 Shell, and swipe it all over the lid for a subtle glow that’s less obvious than gold. Then I finish off with my usual liquid liner and mascara and I’m done!

I’ve been loving this combo, and even more, I’ve been really enjoying mixing high and low-end makeup. It’s quite difficult to find a good, affordable matte eyeshadow palette, and ELF does the job admirably.

What has your go-to eye look been so far in 2016?

Gold Holiday Eyes

It is absolutely no secret around here that I love a warm-toned, neutral eye. I sport one all year round. But when it comes to the holidays, I go even crazier for gold-tones, if such a thing were possible. I’ve got 5 picks here – and they’re all quite similar – my ideal for a gold eyeshadow is to be clearly gold (vs. champagne or rosegold), but not too yellow. Also, since it’s the holidays, the sparkle is great, but I hate chunky glitter as I find it both hard to apply and not very natural-looking.

The first three I am loving come from palettes – Honey Pot from Too Faced’s Natural Eyes Collection is my ideal powder formula for a gold. It’s creamy, metallic and a beautiful colour. This is one of my favourites and it’s very well-loved! Next is the shade Undiscovered, from Lorac’s Unzipped Palette, which is my oldest eyeshadow palette, but is still being used on a daily basis. Undiscovered is a little more muted and less intense than Honey Pot, which makes it great for daily wear. My last palette fave is from my new love, Half Baked from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It is an absolutely divine shade, which is just the slightest bit less bright than Honey Pot, but is a great everyday gold as well.

From the cream side, there’s no point in spending too much time talking about the Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Gilt, which I wore practically every single day in the summer. It’s easy, beautiful and the perfect metallic gold. Too feel extra festive, I’d recommend using Gilt as a base and then sweeping some of Honey Pot on top……….. overkill? Never.

Lastly, there is the ELF Smudge Pot in Back to Basics. This one is bit darker than the rest and leans almost bronze-y, like an antique gold. It’s beautiful and another great one for layering.

What is your favourite gold eyeshadow and what eye look do you plan on rocking over the holidays?

The ELF Haul and Mini Reviews


E.L.F. is not a brand I have tried too many products from – it’s difficult to get my hands on in Canada, with the exception of the website. While I’ve made an order from the site before, I’ve never really tried any of their actual makeup products, so a couple weeks ago, I decided it was high time to make it happen.

I’ve been able to try the products at least once and I have to say that I’m decently impressed, for the price point, the quality is really comparable to a lot of much more expensive products. I decided to go for a bunch of eye products, including three of the Smudge Pots, in Back to Basics, Wine Not and Ocean Bound. Cream eyeshadows are a huge weakness of mine, so I knew I had to try the ELF ones. What sucked me in was the fact that they are marketed to be used not only as eyeshadows but as eyeliners as well. Taking that cue, I decided to take a leap and go for the deep shimmery blue, which I am planning to use exclusively as an eyeliner. I tried it out once and it is a really lovely colour for eyeliner – I’d need to use a primer underneath, however, as it smudged a tiny bit under the eyes. Back to Basics is a neutral gold colour that leans a bit more yellow than anything else I have, and works really nicely for everyday wear. I decided to pick up Wine Not to be used both as shadow and liner, and so far it’s a really lovely colour that works well smudged into the lower lash line as well (I rarely put anything too dramatic under there for fear of panda eyes).

Next, I was really pleased to see that they had brought out a few eyeshadow palettes in the vein of more expensive brands, but these ones only cost $10 USD apiece, which works out to $1 per shade! I opted for the Mad for Mattes palette, which has a great range of colours – light, dark, warm and cool. I chose this one instead of the more neutral one since I feel like I lack a lot of medium transition shades/crease colours, and this really does have some great shades – I’ve been using the first six quite a bit and they have decent payoff with all-day lasting power. The only downside I will say is that the powder products appear to have quite a bit of fallout and it’s difficult to keep the powder from venturing into other shades, so it does take a bit of delicacy to pick up the right amount of colour without contaminating its neighbours. This powderiness is the same in the contour palette, which I have been trying out for the last couple of days. I think the shade selection is quite good on the cool contour shade and the warmer bronzer, as well as the yellow highlight powder. I’m not the biggest fan of the white shimmery highlight shade, but it’s pretty subtle, so if a light hand is used, it can work on a lot of different people.

I feel like one person can never have enough fluffy eye blender brushes, so I thought that instead of spending $20+ on another one, I’d try the $3 Studio Crease Brush, which is much smaller than my other blender brushes, and is great for more precise application. If I ever make another order, I will definitely be picking up a few more of these!

The last product I bought and have yet to trial long-term is the Studio Matte Lip Color in Wine, which is a dark plummy colour that will be great for the cooler months. I did apply it briefly just to see what the colour looked like on, and I love that it’s different from the other dark shades I own. It goes on quite smoothly, but I have yet to test its longevity.

Overall I’m quite pleased with this haul and amazed by how much you can get for such a good price. What are your favourite E.L.F. products and what would you recommend?